Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My CESL 3th semester.

Done with them..

Mrs. Summers (America) - Core teacher
Shota (Japan)
Yiming (China)
Will (Korea)
Wabran (Saudi)
Mei (China)
and Sub (Korea)
Mavis (Taiwan)

I will miss this term and classmates...

Threatened Tortoise to Endangered Tortoise

In the site, http://www.endangeredspecie.com/states/az.htm (2002), unfortunately, we can see many endangered species in Arizona’s ecosystem: 39 endangered animals and 17 endangered plants. Among them, as expected, we can also see 2 endangered desert tortoises both Gopherus Agassizii. This data from 5 years ago, makes us guess that recently the situation has become more severe. In this semester, we are learning about environmental problems that are getting more severe: air pollution, water pollution, global warming, and greenhouse effect. When I got the topic of Arizona desert, at first I only thought of romantic imagination, like the fascinating view of the hot desert, haughty cactus, and especially attractive tortoise that creeps on the Arizona Desert. However, as I have especially studied the tortoise more, I have also learned that the attractive desert are dying for many reasons, as opposed to living well in my romantic imagination. What is the tortoise? According to an article from Passey, tortoise “is classified as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act” (2006, para. 8). And the same article also tells that “already listed as a threatened species, the desert tortoise is facing even more obstacles in recent years” (Passey, 2006, para. 1). This means that the tortoise as a threatened species are shifting to an endangered species. The obstacles that are threatening the poor tortoises varies, and divides into two aspects: natural obstacles and artificial obstacles, and is getting worse by the mixing of the two aspects now. Adding to basically natural obstacles for the tortoise like wildfire, drought, and desertification, the fatal obstacles caused by humans’ activity, like destruction of habitat, mining, construction of military installations in Mojave Desert, and being captured for pets threaten the tortoises now. Moreover, according to the article entitled, “Army picks I.T.S. Corporation to help preserve threatened desert tortoises in Mojave Desert” (2007), their loss will be a disaster to humans and nature, because the desert tortoises are important members of the desert ecosystem to keep biodiversity. Figuratively speaking, finally, the future of Arizona is getting worse without the tortoise, and this is coming true.

In this article, “Army picks I.T.S. corporation to help preserve threatened desert tortoises in Mojave Desert”, the author shows us that the efforts of a military installation that stays on Mojave Desert, and a connection with a company, the U.S. government, and academic institutes is helping to save the tortoises (2007). They help each other to save desert tortoise in Mojave Desert and rely on each other. It is like a cooperate system ,or a net system to protect the endangered desert tortoises. Thus, there should be more efforts in many fields: military, companies, government, and even non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and a more reciprocal approach about the saving of the endangered tortoises beyond individual’s efforts.

First, the military should connect with companies, the U.S. government, and academic institutes to protect the desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert, and make the reciprocal efforts together in researching the tortoises and relocating them, because the military alone can not save the tortoise effectively. According to the article entitled, “U.S. Geological Survey studies document: A changing Mojave Desert”, a survey of the tortoise populations at the National Training Center (NTC), a military installation at Fort Irwin, located in central Mojave Desert, reveals the low densities and high death rates of tortoises at the place (US Fed News, 2007). And the survey also says, “Death of tortoises from anthropogenic sources were significantly correlated with surface disturbances, trash, military ordnance, and proximity to offices and paved roads” (US Fed News, 2007, para. 5). Thus, the NTC is making many problems related to the tortoise’s life and is a culprit of destruction of tortoise habitat. So, they have tried to make efforts to save the tortoises, connecting with companies, and government, and academic institutes. According to another article, “Army picks I.T.S. Corporation to help preserve threatened desert tortoises in Mojave Desert” (2007), the U.S. Army made a contract for translocation of desert tortoise with the I.T.S. Corporation (ITS), valued at approximately $6.9 million over five years and an average of $6,900 per tortoise. In this way, because the military alone can not approach the problem of saving tortoises, it partnered with some companies by paying a lot of money. And the chosen companies cooperated with programs by many governmental organizations, and even the institutes like University of California, for the researching and relocating project. The success of these efforts depends on how tight the connection of a lot of organizations but only military, or a company.

Second, the U.S. government should focus on sustainable issues, laws, and research to protect the desert tortoises in the Mojave desert, rather than social issues, or political issues, because the ecosystem and wildlife at the Mojave desert has been extremely threatened by the policy of the government. Actually, there has been the government’s efforts to protect the endangered species such as Acts, policies, and laws. Among them, the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. environmental laws passed in 1974 to protect critically endangered species from extinction because of the consequences of economic growth and development by adequate concern and conservation, is represented as an effort of government (Wikipedia, 2007). But, despite these efforts, now, another problem has shown up. In the article entitled, “Environmentalists say fences would kill wildlife” (Brezosky, 2007), the author shows the conflict between the environmentalists in NGOs and the U.S. government, that had established the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. government made a long length-barrier, causing destruction of habitats of wildlife, at the U.S and Mexico’s frontier to keep the illegal immigrants from entering into the U.S. territory, ignoring the environmentalist’s voice. The environmentalists insist that the terrible barrier cuts the wildlife off from the Rio Grande, the source of fresh water, so there should be many cameras, border agents, and sensors instead of building the long-length barriers without paths. Moreover, we can gain a more direct restriction from the article. According to Andrew Blankstein, a Times Staff Writer, the U.S government has arrested many smugglers, and illegal traders who sell and buy rare wildlife like the desert tortoises abroad (2007). But, the amount of the smugglers has increased, so it shows there should be more strict laws from now. Finally, the third effort of government can be about research about endangered tortoises. according to the U.S Fed News (2007), the U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey, consisting of 5 scientists, has done much research about Mojave Desert tortoises’ population and their surroundings. They also have found how military and mining activities affect the desert tortoises and their habitat. In this way, the U.S. government should gather and analyze the results of research well and find some solutions on the basis of the results.

Finally, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should make efforts to fight against government, or dark trade companies, and inform people of the issue worldwide, because they can fairly affect moving the people’s minds and feeling, and pressuring against the bad action that destroys the balance of desert of ecosystem. According to the article entitled, “Environmentalists say fences would kill wildlife”, we can see the indication of a NGO, called the Nature Conservancy, against the U.S. government’s harmful policy that makes a long barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. The organization also makes it an issue, and prosecutes the processing project by the government that has enormous power. As a result, the organization not only restrains the government’s harmful policies, but also informs the world of the bad policies by publishing the document, and making an article through the newspapers and magazines (Brezosky, 2007). NGOs against strong power organizations like the government, companies, and even nations also have the power to represent the public’s thinking, and emotion. So, they can fight against the powerful organizations strongly. NGOs, with these advantages, should keep the poor tortoises from going into extinction, and before extinction, inform people abroad of issues to thoroughly.

Actually, in many fields like military, companies, the government, and NGOs, there have been many efforts with many ways to protect endangered wildlife. Some people insist that they are doing their roles well, and their work has had a few small problems, and we should just estimate their effort, because they are trying to solve the big environmental problem like saving the almost endangered tortoises. But, this simplification or underestimation of the problem makes the situation worse, because the problem, actually, is so huge that we cannot deal with it; we already face a big crisis, and it comes from a huge problem, that can drive human life and nature into degradation like the fall of the Roman empire. And many failures caused by the pursuit of a company’s economic benefit , or government’s underestimation of environmental problems while focusing on another problem altogether are showing up. As a result, we should see these problems as important, and notice the many efforts that have been made in many fields more thoroughly, and each organization that is making efforts to save the earth’s environment like companies, government, and NGOs should keep watch on each other more critically, and necessarily should gather the power for a big aim: the great safety of the environment, instead of fighting each other, following their own small aims.

Since the humans’ history has started, the humans’ society is continuing progress with the science technology. But, with the humans’ progress, the environmental destruction has followed with it. Adding to natural pollution like volcanic emission, and burning of animal’s dung and forests, humans’ activity like destruction of nature, construction of buildings on the ground, and burning of fossil fuel make the earth more polluted and hard to live for human society and natural ecosystem both. As a result, now we stands at the crossroads of our progressive life. Are we continuing the progress through a sustainable efforts, or are we going to be destroyed with the endangered wildlife by keeping the environmentally destructive progress? By thinking of this fundamental problem, naturally, we can also think about the solution of the crisis of desert tortoises that have been changed from the threatened species to the endangered species through pollution by humans and nature. It could be that like this: a sustainable solution. It can be represented that many organizations in various fields not only make their own efforts for protecting nature now, but also these organizations sometimes help each other and sometimes restrain each other for a better solution. These efforts can be classified into two sections: mutual cooperation and mutual restraint. The connection between the military and companies or academic institutes, as mentioned above, can be an example of mutual cooperation, while the conflict between government and NGOs can be an example of mutual restraint. As a result, we can exclaim a slogan by following the mutual cooperation and restraint efforts among many organizations: Endangered species to Abundant species!


Army Picks I.T.S. Corporation to Help Preserve Threatened Desert Tortoises in Mojave Desert; I.T.S. to conduct largest translocation study of a threatened or endangered species. (2007, June 4). PR Newswire Association LLC. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Blankstein, A. (2007, May 18). Two indicted in tortoise smuggling; A Diamond Bar man allegedly sold the endangered reptiles shipped from Asia. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Brezosky, L. (2007, May 22). Environmentalists say fences would kill wildlife. Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia). Retrieved June 11, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Endangered Species Act. (2007, June 20). Wikipedia. Retrieved June 18, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org./wiki/Endangered_Species_Act.

Fort Irwin earmarks $6.9M for desert tortoise relocation. (2007, June 5). Desert Dispatch (Barstow, California). Retrieved June 11, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Kurpis, L. (2002). Endangered species in Arizona. Endangeredspecie.com. Retrieved June 18, 2007, from http://www.endangeredspecie.com/states/az.htm

Passey, B. (2006, August 2). Protecting the tortoises: Etiquette stressed in wake of fires, drought. The Associated Press State & Local Wire. Retrieved May 31, 2007, from LexisNexis.

U.S. Geological Survey studies document a changing Mojave Desert. (2007, January 17). US Fed News. Retrieved June 11, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Saving tortoise by capturing tortoise

Have you had a dog, or a cat as a pet? If you were an extreme pet-lover, when your dog, or cat died, you would have felt deep sorrow as your family member dies. But now, you don’t need to worry about this situation anymore, if you like unusual animals like tortoises, because they generally outlive people. In this article, “Pet Desert Tortoises Ease Out Of Hibernation”, the author, Julia Glick, tells about desert tortoise as a pet, and happiness with tortoise by taking care of a tortoise in our life. Rodi, a desert tortoise as a pet, has given enough pleasure to his ex-owner, Emily McClean’s parents, and his owner now, Emily McClean, too. And, the author says this in this article, “One of the region’s most unusual pets, the tortoises are threatened here in their native habitat, but abundant in captivity” (Grick, 2007, para. 2) and “in captivity, desert tortoises can thrive” (Grick, 2007, para. 8).

The author’s argument seems not to make sense, to fight against global disasters like disappearing wildlife by capturing them, under the rule that we should protect their habitats from being destroyed. But, by inferring from the author’s thinking, we can change and develop our mind into another direction to solve the tortoise extinction problem like this: we can protect the tortoise by capturing it, and having the tortoise as a pet can be more useful for our life than trying to maintain the tortoise in the wild for three reasons.

First, if we can control and make an elaborate habitat well for the tortoise, and take care of them, the artificial habitat by humans’ hand is a better place than a destroyed wild habitat. According to the main article above, Rodi, a pet tortoise living in an elaborate surrounding with people, is living in a great habitat without any anxiety about extinction, because his owner has taken care of him as their lovely pet (Grick, 2007). Because the tortoise is humans’ pet as a dog, or cat would be, their owners will feed them on time and protect them from drought and shortage of water by providing proper materials. Moreover, if they have a severe disease, they can meet animal doctors and be healed more easily. It means that it will be an automatic life-support system at humans’ side to protect them.

Second, we can make the desert tortoise as a pet to keep proper tortoise’s population, because it is expensive to save tortoises in natural habitat against wildfire, drought and desertification, or relocate them to a new place. Tortoise’s habitat is gradually disappearing by drought, and severe wildfire in Arizona, and many efforts are being made to save the natural tortoise. But it hasn’t worked well, because it is so difficult and expensive to change the natural environment, and it requires responsibility of many communities, a nation, and even global effort, not individual. Therefore, we can find a solution, focusing on individuals’ effort like taking care of them as pets instead of changing the whole bad environment of the tortoise resulted from severe natural disaster like drought, shortage of water, and desertification.

Finally, tortoise as a pet can be useful for our life because they can be good friends for a long time. According to the main article above, the pet tortoise is called “recyclable pet”, because they get descended down in the family. For example, many tortoises were owned by their owner’s parents or grandparents before, and they had become their friends for a long time through generations. Unlike other pets, they have the unique advantage of outliving humans because they can live over 80 years, and this feature gives humans a closer relationship and feeling like love, and attraction. Moreover, in another article entitled, “After 62 years pet tortoise Sally-Ann goes missing” (The Sunderland Echo, 2007), we can see a family’s sadness at losing a tortoise that is 60 years old. And Sheila Parkinson, 81, an owner of the tortoise, and her disabled daughter, Lynne, 52, looked for the tortoise for a long time with their family, friends, and neighbors. It shows that they have cherished the pet much. The endangered desert tortoise in the wild desert is just not useful.

While the desert tortoise is disappearing, and their habitats are being destroyed, can we save the desert tortoise against the obstacle they face by capturing them? Even though this solution looks like nonsense, it quite makes sense because diverting a stereotype into a new idea is so worthwhile to try to solve an unfixable problem like a global issue. As a result, we can protect tortoises by capturing them, because elaborate and artificial habitat is made by humans, is safer and more trustworthy than a deteriorating wild habitat and it costs less than countering the whole natural disaster like a disappearing habitat. Moreover, tortoise as a pet can be a great friend to many people, providing a unique value. It will be a pleasurable experience to see tortoises that emerge from a doghouse and padded boxes, after their hibernation in your backyard.


Grick, J. (2007, April 2). Pet desert tortoises ease out of hibernation. The Press Enterprise. Retrieved June 10, 2007, from LexisNexis.

After 62 years pet tortoise Sally-Ann goes missing. (2007, March 7). The Sunderland Echo. Retrieved June 10, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Gentleman and Arizona tortoise

In common restaurants, we can see one spoon, two forks, and one knife in order on the table and if you are a gentle businessman, you use your right hand to cut meat and your left hand to stick or hold the meat when dining across from an important buyer. It can be etiquette to keep your buyers continually. Like this, it is also easy to be a gentleman in the Arizona desert. In this article, “Protecting the tortoises Etiquette: stressed in wake of fires, drought”, the author, Brian Passey, tells about humans’ simple etiquette and the fact that the public should be educated about desert tortoises to protect the species against terrible wildfires and severe drought. Lori Rose, a county biologist for the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, advises us about some rules to be gentlemen in the desert. There are the following things: don’t touch tortoises in any cases; be careful in a making trails not to disturb tortoises; don’t bring your dog close to tortoise; don’t take them as a pets; and interact with them when they have trouble. Marshall Topham, assistant superintendent for Washington County School District, tells that despite of inconvenience, we should help the threatened animals.

Adding to the thought of this author, I think we should make a more active effort against tortoise’s extinction in three ways as well as the simple effort like above.

First, we should artificially make reserve for desert tortoises and take care of them there in order to make them flourish, because they gradually are losing their habitat because of severe desertification and wildfire. According to an article, “Sloooow recovery: 37 endangered tortoises move to N.M., where biologists hope their population will be boosted”, 37 endangered tortoises were moved from Arizona to New Mexico by humans’ hand directly with biologists’ hope that they would thrive. At Ted Turner’s Armendaris Ranch, a home to endangered species in New Mexico, the tortoises were carefully treated and protected as a threatened species and were examined as specimens for research about endangered desert tortoises. Moreover, researchers at Turner’s Ranch are also going to build a special facility to protect young tortoises until they grow enough at some place near the ranch. Like this, by making a habitat for them actively and artificially, we should protect them against extremely sad disasters like wildfire and drought that drive them into extinction.

Second, we should improve the environment of the desert as much as possible despite terrible obstacles like desertification, wildfire, and drought. According to a first article that I mentioned above and another article entitled, “Wildfires, weeds hurt desert tortoise habitat”, there are two reasons for the drought and severe wildfire: the shortage of water, and the highly flammable grass or weed, that make wildfire more severe, and we should treat these reasons well. Washington County naturally had wonderful habitats for desert tortoises in the Mojave range, because the region has received more rainfall than other regions. This means that even though they are desert life that lives in severe dry desert, they also need water. Therefore, we should artificially supply water to the place where the tortoises live as much as possible. It could be to make artificial rainfall by using the modern technology and even regular and periodic helicopters. To stop wildfires from getting power, we should also remove the non-native and invasive cheat grass or weed that makes the wildfire get worse. We artificially not only should replant native plants that may been eaten by the tortoises, but also, with herbicides, get rid of non-native plants that kill the tortoises.

Finally, we should try to make stronger laws systematically to punish tortoise hunters and smugglers, because they have smuggled the desert tortoises to other countries for economic purpose illegally. Actually, it’s not a enormous impact on the ecology of desert tortoises that some people take desert tortoises as a pets and bring them home as the first article above mentioned, whereas the tortoise hunters or smugglers surely make big problems over the ecosystem of desert tortoises. In one article, “Two indicted in tortoise smuggling; A Diamond Bar man allegedly sold the endangered reptiles shipped from Asia”, Scott Flaherty, the California officer of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said smuggling reptiles is a worldwide problem (Blankstein, 2007). It means that many tortoises have gone abroad and other reptiles have come to the U.S. So, these unnatural shifts finally will cause severe imbalance of the ecosystem of the Arizona desert, because many tortoises in Arizona are captured by hunters or smugglers for illegal global trade. To save tortoises, stronger law, related to smuggling, must be written and the law should be considered with economic, social, and ecological aspects.

The desert tortoise in Arizona is like our buyer, if we think of humans as our company. If we want our company to progress continually and healthily, we should treat our buyer well and be a gentleman who keeps etiquette for the buyer. Moreover, adding to this, we should make some effort actively and artificially to maintain the good relationship between the company and the buyer, like the relationship between the humans and tortoises, making reserve for them, taking care of them, changing the environment of the desert into the heaven for tortoises, and making critical laws against tortoise hunters and smugglers. Fortunately, we can still be a more active gentlemen of the Arizona desert despite many obstacles, if we believe in humans’ amazing ability.


Blankenstein, A. (2007, May 18). Two indicted in tortoise smuggling; A Diamond Bar man allegedly sold the endangered reptiles shipped from Asia. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 4, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Passey, B. (2006, August 2). Protecting the tortoises: Etiquette stressed in wake of fires, drought. The Associated Press State & Local Wire. Retrieved May 31, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Rogers, K. (2007, February 24). Wildfires, weeds hurt desert tortoise habitat. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Soussan, T. (2006, December 26). Sloooow recovery; 37 endangered tortoises move to N.M., where biologists hope their population will be boosted. Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2007, from LexisNexis.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are you a traveler or an invader of Arizona's desert

Hot desert, amazing insects like scorpion, attractive saguaro cactus, camels eating grass, and beautiful oases in dry desert. When you imagine these words, don’t you want to go to Arizona? If you do and you can, you will be one of many visitors in the Great Arizona desert. However, keep in mind that you can also be an invader at the same time. There is a controversial issue related to this. Many travelers want to go to the Arizona desert, have traveled to see curious things there, and have made the Arizona desert polluted. As a result, many visitors have destroyed the ecosystem of the Arizona desert and it has lost the power to clean itself, because of human’s interference. So, the environment in the Arizona desert gradually has been destroyed, and the environment should be controlled by humans, for three reasons.

First, pollution in Arizona comes from humans, not nature, and humans are the main reason for pollution. Every problem has a main reason, and knowing the main reason is the most important to solve the problems. In Arizona now, increasing pollution is a controversial issue and an environmental problem. Actually, as you know, the nature has the natural power to clean itself if humans don’t interfere with its environment. But if humans interfere with their ecosystems, another story shows up. Nature loses the power to clean itself and everything goes out of balance. Humans make it this way, not nature, so we should find the answer to solve the problem of pollution from humans, not nature. Only humans can be a solution, whereas nature can do nothing about this problem.

Second, nature in Arizona already can’t clean itself by its natural process. Actually, nature can also keep itself beautiful and healthful. It has a purifying system in every ecosystem like our body. Unless there is a big impact and damage, everything will be in order and it can clean itself again and again. However, many visitors, as I have said, have been to the Arizona desert, have destroyed its ecosystem, and have made everything in Arizona out of balance. Nature can’t clean itself anymore, so it should wait for human’s help. Through humans’ consistent help, it can be revived. After that, nature will dramatically restart its purifying process and will show its amazing outlook again.

Third, humans can also find a sustainable way for the Arizona ecosystem, and it can finally be a win-win strategy for both sides: human and nature. The sustainable way is by humans, not nature. It means artificially, not naturally. But it can help both considerably. It could contain many aspects relating to system, law, money, and mind change. For example, the state of Arizona can make a law about banning many travelers from visiting the Arizona desert many times, making several rules in the Arizona desert to protect it from polluting by visitors, or establish some campaign for protection of Arizona’s desert from many visitors. These things show us why the environment in Arizona must be controlled by humans, not nature. And there actually is a great sustainable way to solve the problem.

Some people say we should let Arizona ecosystem be natural without humans’ effort, and then it will be better soon, because the natural solution is the only best thing. But, this insistence doesn’t make sense, because it ignores humans’ huge interference to nature and the fact that nature already lost its power to clean itself by itself. This means that it’s time that humans jump into the problem directly. The problem that humans make must be solved by humans, because nature can’t do that. We should change our attitude from human’s interference to human’s help. Arizona’s desert depends on our effort and every natural thing is always not good.

Arizona desert is attractive enough for visitors who are curious. So, many visitors have been to the Arizona desert, and sometimes have made many problems, like pollution and destruction. They were visitors and also invaders at the same time. The problems can be solved by themselves, not nature, because they just have a responsibility for that. Moreover, nature also lost its ability to clean itself because of humans' interference, so it needs humans' help. We can find the sustainable solution to help nature’s purifying ability through our system, law, money, and campaign. I hope many visitors who have been to the Arizona desert turn to a great helper for nature and for humans.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

After 1st semester with classmates

Everyone is cool and good
I like my friends~
Where is Anas~?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Alcatraz Live Cam

I went to an Alcatraz Live Cam site. This site shows us many things about Alcatraz prison. First of all, you can see around Alcatraz prison by live camera. Camera can’t show us apparent scene. And you can also see Alcatraz’s pictures: Alcatraz map, Guard lookout tower, cell, oldest lighthouse on the west coast, and something like that. Because the prison is in San Francisco Bay, you can know about San Francisco Bay’s weather. And you can also buy a ferry ticket for the trip. And you can know about the Alcatraz’s history and story from this site.

This site looks like a travel site because there are many advertisements for travelers. To show which is around Alcatraz prison by camera is likely to not inform us about Alcatraz prison in detail, but will attract many travelers. Anyway, you can see many pictures about that. This place is famous for the background of the movie “The Rock”. This prison is called like this: the Rock, prison’s prison, and Devil’s island. It shows this prison is such a brutal prison for prisoners. Nobody could escape from there. I can understand the mind of the prisoner who had watched out of the window the beautiful beach and city sadly.